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Coach Yokohama is wary of HAGL

Ho Chi Minh CityBefore the confrontation in the AFC Champions League, coach Kevin Muscat said that HAGL was very unpredictable because it owned many Vietnamese national players.

Coach Muscat answered the press conference at Thong Nhat Stadium on the afternoon of April 15.  Photo: Duc Dong

Coach Muscat answered the press conference at Thong Nhat Stadium on the afternoon of April 15. Image: Duc Dong

Yokohama is the defending J-League 1 runner-up. This season, they are also second, scoring 17 goals in the first 10 rounds. However, in their current squad, there are no Japanese players present in the 1-1 draw with Vietnam in the final round of the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup – Asia region on March 29. On the contrary, HAGL contributed three players in that match, including Cong Phuong, Tuan Anh and Hong Duy.

“HAGL owns many excellent players. Their players mainly play in the attack of the Vietnamese team. Therefore, they promise to make Yokohama difficult,” commented Coach Muscat. “In response, we analyzed their gameplay videos. Football is a team game, so we focus on solving the football style rather than the individual abilities of HAGL.”

When asked if contemporary Vietnamese stars such as Cong Phuong and Quang Hai can play in Japan or Korea, Mr. Muscat said: “In recent times, Vietnamese football has made strong developments. Despite their short stature, Vietnamese players possess good personal technique. With such skills, they can play in different environments. Many talents have been recognized in Asia and I believe that Vietnamese football will develop even more in the future.”

Yokohama has three appearances in the AFC Champions League, but all stopped from the group stage. This year, the Northeastern team of Japan is very determined to break it. They arrived in Ho Chi Minh City at the earliest to prepare with 66 members and four tons of luggage. Coach Muscat affirmed: “Due to the influence of the weather, we have not been able to practice well the past few days. However, the players are very excited before the opening match. We respect all opponents, and will Play with the highest determination.”

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Dong Huyen

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